WinHelp philosophy

Subject: WinHelp philosophy
From: Emily Skarzenski <eskarzenski -at- DTTUS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 15:04:13 CST

David Castro <techwrtr -at- CRL -dot- COM> wrote:

> However, with paper documentation, you can *assume* that the person
> read the previous page, even if they haven't. A reader will
> instinctively know to look at the last few pages if he/she is
> confused. In online docs, you cannot assume much at all. You've got
> to write very differently.

David is beginning to get at the *real* challenge behind writing good
online help: CONTEXT. Because a reader is getting only a chunk of
information -- not a whole book -- it is *vital* that the help topics
be written so that they are understandable on their own.

This affects other types of chunked online documents as well. And, as
the world moves online, I believe more and more information will be
presented this way.

Something to think about...


Emily Skarzenski
Deloitte & Touche/ICS - Chadds Ford, PA
eskarzenski -at- dttus -dot- com


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